Worcester County Sheriff's Office

Proud to Protect, Ready to Serve

Press Release - Two Juveniles Charged in Connection with School Safety Threat

Snow Hill, MD — The Worcester County Sheriff's Office announced today that two juveniles have been charged with conspiracy to commit first degree murder and related offenses in connection with what has been deemed a credible threat to Snow Hill Middle School.

On Friday, March 22, 2019, the Worcester County Sheriff's Office was contacted by Worcester County Public Schools officials about a potential threat that was brought to school administration by several students. Members of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office immediately responded and confirmed that the threat was credible.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is comprised of members of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, and the Berlin and Pocomoke City Police Departments, continued the investigation, which revealed the existence of a school shooting plot. As a result of CBI's investigative efforts, a juvenile was detained at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2019. A second juvenile was detained on the morning of Monday, March 25, 2019 as a result of the continued investigation.

The investigation is still ongoing and has resulted in numerous interviews, search warrants, subpoenas and seizure of multiple pieces of evidence. Evidence recovered from both suspects' residences included materials referencing a prior national school shooting event as well as plans relating to a school shooting at Snow Hill Middle School. Evidence recovered also revealed that this plot had been several months in the making.

Worcester County Sheriff Matthew Crisafulli stated, "The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation and the Worcester County Sheriff's Office are confident that any threat to Snow Hill Middle School has been contained. Our continuing investigation has not revealed any indication that any weapon or destructive device was actually brought onto school property. The Worcester County Sheriff's Office, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, the Worcester County States Attorney's Office and the Worcester County Public Schools are confident that due to combined efforts, there is currently no active threat to Snow Hill Middle School or any other school within Worcester County.”

Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent Lou Taylor echoed Crisafulli's sentiments, and he shared that trauma counseling services are available for students and staff affected by this incident.

"In terms of this event, our safety practices and protocols were effective," said Taylor at today's press conference. "The importance we place on fostering relationships with our students has paid dividends in terms of school safety. While we acknowledge that there is always more work to be done, I am proud to say that the system works. See something, hear something, say something. It works. Our standing before you today is evidence of that.”

Officials praised the students who bravely came forward to report this matter to school officials.

"A tremendous tragedy was prevented by the actions of the students who had the fortitude and courage to step forward and relay their concerns and fears," Crisafulli said. Taylor continued, “We are here first and foremost today to honor the bravery of several young people, who prevented what otherwise could have been a tragic event for Snow Hill Middle School and our entire school system.”

Lastly, Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark Titanski asked for the public's partnership in safeguarding the privacy of those involved in the case.

"While public safety is our goal first and foremost, we would also ask for privacy for the families and the children involved," Titanski said. "The challenges that they face in coping with these events are significant, and we acknowledge that moving forward in a healthy fashion will be considerably easier without the spotlight of media attention.